Orleans Complex Fire Update, August 30, 2017
Incident: Orleans Complex Wildfire
The Orleans Complex is comprised of nineteen fires, three of which remain active. The Ukonom Fire is 4,195 acres and is 52 percent contained. The Haypress Fire is 6,127 acres and 0 percent contained. The Burney Fire is 1,375 acres and 0 percent contained. The Complex is being managed using a combination of containment and confinement strategies.
Current: Fire activity picked up again yesterday afternoon as the smoke cleared and the inversion lifted.
On the Haypress Fire, afternoon winds continued to push the fire north and east actively into the Marble Mountain Wilderness, both up the Haypress Creek drainage and northeast toward Sandy Ridge. Crews completed burning operations along Forest Road 12N02 early in yesterday’s shift, tying into the 15N17 Road to contain the fire on the southwestern edge. The fire also spread actively to the south yesterday, toward Gates Creek and Steinacher Ridge. It has not yet moved out of the Wilderness area, but firefighters are scouting opportunities for containment and assessing structures south of the fire today to assure that they are prepared should growth continue in that direction. Fire reached the historic cabins around Wooley Creek late in the day, and firefighters burned out around those cabins successfully. Today, firefighters will focus efforts their on holding the fire at Forest Road 15N17, and look for opportunities to suppress the fire to the south. They will remain in the area of the cabins to monitor any remaining fire activity and to mop up as necessary to keep the fire contained.
The Ukonom Fire continues to show only isolated heat, and has held well north of Lick Creek and east of the Klamath River for multiple days. Firefighters will patrol and mop up today, making sure that there is no heat detected close enough to the line to threaten containment. Infrared mapping does show some isolated heat sources inside the fire, and residents should expect to see smoke and occasional torching as unburned vegetation inside the perimeter continues to ignite and burn.
The Burney Fire grew slightly on the northwestern corner, but has largely remained inactive. Crews continue to monitor should activity pick up.
Weather: Slightly cooler temperatures and higher relative humidities are predicted for the operational shift today. Strong high pressure will build over the area starting Thursday, with above-average temperatures expected to persist through the holiday weekend.
Air quality: Areas in the vicinity of the fires continue to be impacted by smoke, with a pattern of smoky days that clear out from the evening into the morning. Yesterday saw more clearing than in previous days and similar conditions can be expected again today. Air quality is worst during peaks in the late morning into the afternoon for all areas. During the day, Happy Camp and Seiad Valley will see the worst air quality and will be Very Unhealthy overall. Yreka, Weed, the Scott Valley, Callahan, Sawyers Bar, and Orleans will mainly see Unhealthy with potential for some Very Unhealthy conditions at times. Weitchpec, Willow Creek, and Hoopa can expect Moderate to USG overall with potential for some Unhealthy levels in the afternoon. Weaverville is expected to have Good air quality today but may see some periods of Moderate levels. Drivers should be aware of limited visibility and changes in traffic flow. Information on the health effects of smoke and what you can do to reduce your smoke exposure can be found at [https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html].
Safety: Bow hunting season is open. Firefighters may be conducting suppression activities in hunting areas. Portions of the Six Rivers and Klamath National Forests are closed. Contact your local ranger station for current closure information. Motorists traveling on State Highway 96 are reminded that there will be numerous firefighting vehicles on the roadway. Please drive with caution.
Closures: The Klamath National Forest has issued Closure Order No. 17-05-801 to close trails, roads, and lands on the Ukonom Ranger District as a result of Orleans Complex fires:
Closure Order No. 17-05-797 closes a portion of the Ukonom and Happy Camp Ranger Districts northeast of the Ukonom Fire
Temporary Flight Restriction Area (TFR): A TFR is in effect over the fire area to provide a safe environment for firefighting aviation operations (http://bit.ly/2ws6uQq).
Fire Restrictions: The Six Rivers National Forest remains under fire restrictions to provide for public and resource safety (http://bit.ly/2wfQ7Ed).For more information about the Six Rivers National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/srnf, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SixRiversNF/ or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SixRiversNF.